Bett relishes clash against star Kipruto at Kip Keino Classic
World U-18 champion Leonard Bett says he is unfazed by his impending contest against heavyweights at Saturday’s Kip Keino Classic World Athletics Continental Tour at Nyayo Stadium.
While the spotlight will be on World and Olympics 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, Bett who was second at the Monaco Diamond League behind Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali says running at home is a huge privilege that is why he intends to enter the race with a lot of excitement.
Bett said he had envisioned a battle with El Bakkali who had earlier confirmed participation but did not make to the final list that was released by meet director, Barnaba Korir on Tuesday.
He says the race will be anybody’s and therefore there is no single favourite in the water-and -barriers event that is classified as the core event by the world athletics administrators.
“Going by the start list, it is a star-studded one where the target is to go and enjoy the race without putting pressure on yourself.
Personally I am happy to have run in Monaco, so I want to see how far I have come since last month,” said the athlete who trains in Bomet County under coach John Kimetto.
Bett will be up against world and Olympic champion Kipruto, reigning African champion Benjamin Kigen, Davis Kiplangat, Emmanuel Kiprop, Amos Kirui, Lawrence Kipsang, Vincent Kipchumba, Wilberforce Kones and Geoffrey Kipkemboi.
“I think even non-Kenyans will want to try and cause an upset, it will be very interesting,” added Bett who hinted that Ugandan Abel Sikowo, Ethiopian Abraham Seme and Kenyan-born Turkish Hilal Yego are equally good athletes.
Meanwhile, women’s world record holder and champion Beatrice Chepkoech and former World Champion Hyvin Kiyeng in the women’s category.
They will renew their rivalry once again having faced off on Berlin early in September where the Kiyeng carried the day.
Kiyeng, an Olympics silver medalist, had last beaten Chepkoech during the 2017 Doha leg of the Diamond League.